August 18 2019, marked the 99 years commemoration of the 19th Amendment, which was ratified by the United States to its Constitution. The amendment eliminated the gender status on the right to vote that led to a mass, peaceful broadening of the country’s voting population.
The 19th Amendment that was officially announced on August 26, 1920, stated: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
Struggle of women to attain voting rights
The Seneca Falls meeting
During the early stages of development, the United States had only allowed men, who met property ownership criteria, to cast their vote. Discrimination on the basis of race and the slavery system across the country prohibited majority of the non-White men from voting. No woman was allowed to vote, irrespective of these factors.
The restriction didn’t go down well with the female activists, resulting in a widespread resentment movement. In 1848, US’ prominent suffragists called a historic women’s rights meeting, which was held at Seneca Falls in New York. The meeting saw some landmark resolutions, including: “Resolved, that all laws which prevent woman from occupying such a station in society as her conscience shall dictate, or which place her in a position inferior to that of man, are contrary to the great precept of Nature, and therefore of no force or authority.”
The National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), and the National Woman’s Party (NWP), joined forces to pressurize the US Congress to implemented the amendment.
In 1919, the struggle reaped results, as the 19th amendment was approved with a two-thirds majority by both houses of the US Congress. On August 18, 1920, the Tennessee state legislature became the 36th state to ratify the law.